Let Assembly Seek Truth And Reconciliation Commission: Omar

Let Assembly Seek Truth And Reconciliation Commission: Omar

5 March 2011
The Hindu
Shujaat Bukhari

Jammu: Maintaining that it was time to solve the riddles in Jammu and Kashmir, Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on Friday asked the legislators to move a resolution for setting up a Truth and Reconciliation Commission to look into all issues that cast a shadow over the situation in the State in the last 21 years. Replying to the debate on the Governor's address to the joint session of Legislature, Mr Abdullah said a plethora of questions demanded answers. “A father wants to know how his son was killed, Kashmiri Pandits demand an answer to the question who threw them out and a mother is waiting for her disappeared son. There are many mysteries which need to be uncovered,” he said. “We can pass the resolution and send it to the Centre.” However, the entire Opposition, comprising the People's Democratic Party, the Bharatiya Janata Party, the National Panther's Party, the Communist Party of India (Marxist) and some Independents, boycotted his address. Mr. Abdullah suggested that members of the Commission should not be associated with Kashmir at all. “They should be people who are dissociated from the State geographically, politically and situationally so that truth comes out.” Before coming to power in 2008, Mr. Abdullah had repeatedly demanded that such a Commission be set up and reiterated the plea after becoming Chief Minister. Pointing out that Jammu and Kashmir was essentially a political problem, he said unemployment, money and gun were other ingredients of the issue. But “its roots lie in politics.” 8-point formula For resolving the issue, interlocutors had been appointed and they were on the job. Both the State and Central governments were working on an 8-point formula announced by Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram in October last. On withdrawal of the Disturbed Area Act, Mr. Abdullah said two committees, headed by the Srinagar-based Commander of 15 Corps and the Director General of Police, were examining the situation to see “which areas could be considered for withdrawal of the DDA”. Justifying the ban on the BJP's Ekta Yatra to Srinagar, planned in January this year, the Chief Minister the programme could have vitiated the atmosphere in the State and “vested interests could exploit that situation.” He said his government would apply “every political trick” to avoid the kind of unrest witnessed in 2010. Opposition walkout Earlier, the Opposition walked out protesting against “irregularities in upgrading health centres.” It accused Health Minister Sham Lal Sharma and Finance Minister A.R. Rather of choosing their constituencies for upgrading and ignoring others. In the heated arguments between the two sides, pandemonium prevailed for some time, and thereafter the Opposition walked out.


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